DENVER – As the hunting seasons continue, Colorado Parks and Wildlife alerts hunters traveling throughout the state that several CPW check stations are slated during the rifle seasons, Oct. 9 to Nov. 10. Animal check stations help officers ensure compliance with big game regulations and also offer hunters the service of routine animal and data gathering customarily provided at CPW service centers.

Every hunter should be prepared to present their license if a wildlife officer stops them for a courtesy check. Hunters should anticipate interactions with Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers in the field or at check stations throughout the state.

District wildlife officers are in the field to help hunters, as well as prevent wildlife laws from being broken. Anyone who makes a mistake in the field is encouraged to report it immediately to the closest law enforcement agency, which will contact the on-call wildlife officer. In emergencies, call 911, otherwise call Colorado State Patrol.

All hunters are encouraged to keep in mind:

It is unlawful to:

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Have a loaded (round in the chamber) rifle or shotgun in or on a motor vehicle. (‘Motor vehicle’ includes motorcycles and ATVs.) Similarly, muzzleloading rifles cannot be primed (percussion cap on the nipple or powder in the flashpan) while in or on a motor vehicle.

–Carry firearms (except handguns) on an off-highway vehicle (OHV) during deer, elk, pronghorn and bear seasons unless they are unloaded in the chamber and magazine. Firearms (except handguns) and bows carried on an OHV must be fully enclosed in a hard or soft case. Scabbards or cases with open ends or sides are prohibited. This regulation does not apply to landowners or their agents carrying a firearm on an OHV for the purpose of taking depredating wildlife on property owned or leased by them.

–Hunt carelessly or discharge a firearm or release an arrow in a manner disregarding human life or property.

–Shoot from or use a motor vehicle, motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile or aircraft to hunt, harass or drive wildlife.

–Use aircraft to hunt, to direct hunters on the ground or to hunt the same day or day after a flight was made to locate wildlife.

–Hunt under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance.

–Use artificial light to hunt wildlife. (Having a firearm with cartridges in the chamber or magazine, or loaded with powder or a ball, or a strung, uncased bow while trying to project artificial light into an area where wildlife can be found is prima facie evidence of a violation.)

–Use dogs or bait to hunt bears, deer, elk, pronghorn or moose. (Bait means to put, expose, deposit, distribute or scatter salt, minerals, grain, animal parts or other food so as to constitute a lure, attraction, or enticement for big game on or over any area where hunters are attempting to take big game.

–Use poison, drugs or explosives to hunt or harass wildlife.

–Leave an unattended fire that is not completely extinguished.

–Not make a reasonable attempt to track and kill an animal you wounded. If the animal goes on private property, you must contact the landowner or person in charge before pursuing it.

–Not wear at least 500 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange material above the waist on an outer garment while hunting deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, or moose during a muzzleloading or rifle season. Part of the fluorescent orange must be a hat or head covering visible from all directions. Camouflage orange does not meet this requirement. Mesh garments are legal but not recommended. Bowhunters are not required to wear fluorescent orange during archery seasons. Colorado Parks and Wildlife strongly recommends wearing daylight fluorescent orange clothes in the field even if you’re not hunting.

–Fail to use wildlife meat for human consumption. Internal organs are not considered edible portions.

–Shoot from, across, or on a public road with a firearm, bow or crossbow. People firing a bow, rifle, handgun, or shotgun having a single slug must be at least 50 feet from the centerline of the road.

–Party hunt, which means to kill someone else’s game or allow someone to kill your game.

Big game regulations are available at and summarized in the 2015 Big Game Brochure.

Contact CPW Communication Center at (303) 297-1192 with questions or for direction to further hunting resources.

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, big-game management, hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and nonmotorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast. 

Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.

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Mia Anstine
MAC Outdoors LLC
PO Box 31
Ignacio, CO 81137-0031 

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